An alternative to the Raspberry Pi 3


Article from Issue 213/2018

The inexpensive ODROID-C2 module runs two to three times faster than a Raspberry Pi 3.

The ODROID series of single-board computers is manufactured by Hardkernel [1] out of South Korea. The ODROID-C1+ ($35) and the ODROID-C2 ($46) have a form factor similar to the Raspberry Pi 3 (RPi3) (Figure 1). The higher end ODROID-XU ($59), which is around five times faster than the RPi3, has a significantly different board layout.

I've been happy with the functionality and openness of the Raspberry Pi platform; however, I find its desktop performance a bit sluggish. For only a few dollars more than an RPi3, the ODROID-C2 CPU, RAM, and GPU specs are impressive (Table 1). My goal was to see whether I could use the ODROID-C2 for some typical Raspberry Pi applications.

First Impressions

The ODROID-C2 has almost the same footprint as the RPi3, but not exactly. Because the microSD mount is different, I could use some, but not all, of my Pi cases (Figure 2). When you are designing your projects, it is important to note that the ODROID-C2 does not have built-in WiFi or Bluetooth adapters, so you'll need wired connections or USB adapters. Like some of the Orange Pi modules, the ODROID-C2 has a built-in infrared (IR) connection.


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